5 Safety Technologies As Standard Equipement Is Being Pushed By Gov’t Agency

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Federal accident investigators at the National Transportation Safety Board believe the government should mandate the latest collision technology, usually only found on luxury vehicles, in every new car made. This announcement came this week as the NTSB released it’s yearly 10 Most Wanted List.

What the agency is recommending is that these features become mandated as standard equipment for all new cars going forward. This is a tough pill to swallow for car companies, which feel that this would drive up the cost of a new car for consumers who are already strapped with paying an average of $30,000 now.

But the agency is taking a hard stand on the issue, saying that their research shows that employing these technologies on every car could reduce traffic fatalities by more than half.

“Transportation is safer than ever, but with 35,000 annual fatalities and hundreds of thousands of injuries, we can, and must, do better,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. “The Most Wanted List is a roadmap to improving safety for all of our nation’s travelers.”

The five technologies rely on electronic sensors and computers to communicate dangerous situations to the driver and, in many cases, change the behavior of the car itself.

Lane departure warning

Since 2001, car companies have been creating different versions of lane departure warnings that beep, ring, and sometimes take the wheel from the driver when conditions aren’t safe to proceed into another lane — or the side of the road. Various technologies like video, laser, and infrared sensors deliver the information to the driver. Although this technology is becoming more common on lower-priced vehicles, experts say the cost of adding it can be anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 per car.

Forward collision warning

Using the same technologies as the lane departure warning devices, the sensor built into collision avoidance systems warns the driver of obstacles in the road, a car in front of them, or a blind spot detected in the next lane. These systems are very helpful in the fog or when a car in front of you makes a sudden stop. Although mostly found in high-end cars, the 2013 Nissan Altima can be fitted with this feature for around $1,000 extra.

Adaptive cruise control

Sure, lots of cars have cruise control, but adaptive cruise control suggests the car has the ability to slow down automatically when approaching a vehicle ahead. Some even have the ability to speed up when traffic allows. Again, lasers, radar, and video technologies are used to provide information to the driver in either an audible or vibrating feel on the wheel. Some of these systems give a warning beep when the car drifts out of its lane without the blinker engaged.

Automatic braking

Also called “pre-collision systems,” automatic breaking is a technology that senses an imminent collision with another vehicle, person, or obstacle and applies the brakes without driver input. Laser, radar, and cameras are used to make this happen and, although not all accidents can be completely avoided, the system does seek to reduce crash speed in many situations.

Electronic stability control

A much more common and less expensive safety feature being recommended by the NTSB has many branded names, but is known as electronic stability control. This technology detects and reduces loss of traction or skidding when it detects a loss of steering control. When engaged, it automatically applies the brakes to help “steer” the vehicle where the driver intends to go. This might happen while the car is skidding, during emergency evasive swerves, or when the driver poorly judges turns on slippery roads. It’s also helpful when the car is hydroplaning due to severe weather.

Compelling stats behind the recommendations

The potential for improving safety by using these technologies is impressive. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that run-off-road, rear-end, and lane change maneuvers account for 23%, 28%, and 9% of highway accidents, respectively. Vehicle collision avoidance technologies can prevent these types of accidents. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that forward collision warning can prevent 879 fatal crashes annually for passenger vehicles and 115 fatal crashes annually for large trucks.

The Insurance Institute estimates that lane departure warning can prevent 247 fatal crashes annually, and electronic stability control, 439 fatal crashes annually.

The NTSA’s list was released a little earlier than usual this year so corporations could get a jump on planning.

“We’re releasing the list now so it is available to policymakers at the state and federal levels as well as industry groups as they craft their priorities for 2013,” Hersman said. “We want to highlight the results of our investigations and ensure that safety has a seat at the table when decisions are made.”

Turning the Doldrums into A Full Sail: Tips To Be Happier

Everyone struggles with being a little sad, or a little under the mental weather, and when you’re having a rough time, the hardest thing to do is figure out how to get out of it. There are tricks that some of us use to feel a bit better – chocolate and TV – but that’s temporary fixes and you’ll end up being sad again. Sometimes you need something drastic that you may not have thought of. It’s tough, but a phone call to your sister or mom might be the best thing, or it also might be the worst thing. Let’s explore some other options that can help your outlook on life.

A New Car

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Maybe it’s time for a new car. The reason is that often a car is associated with being an unobtainable luxury item. Every time we hit the driver’s seat we resent the old car that we’re stuck driving, hoping it doesn’t break down. But imagine getting into your car and not having that worry, and feeling comfortable and like you’re actually a somebody. Cars are not as hard to get as they once were, prices are actually reasonable. Check out the West Covina Nissan either in person or online at www.downtownnissan.com and you’ll see what we’re talking about. It’s not so hard to get an affordable snazzy new car, and that will help your mood while in the car and also at home when you realize you can actually make it through.

Less Social Media

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We often forget that Facebook and other social media outlets are not real life, they are the faces put forward in a carefully crafted manner by our friends and family. Then why do we compare our lives to these fabricated silver lining versions of people’s lives? It’s natural, we do it, we all do it. One way to feel less overwhelmed and depressed is to simply cut down on your social media time, big time. Don’t let yourself just waste time on there looking at what others are doing. You’ll feel much better if you read a book or actually go out for a walk. Anything other than sitting like a lump on the couch living vicariously through the polished 2-dimensional lives of others.

Get a Pet

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There’s nothing quite like having a welcoming home committee by a loved one or ones when you get home. We’re talking of the four-legged variety. Cats and dogs love their owners, they don’t know why, they don’t get to choose, but they are excited when you get home. If you need lower maintenance, get a cat, if you need more dependence so that you feel more useful, get a dog. They both require attention and care, and both provide a great amount of joy and love. A pet can really turn your frown upside down.

Why You Need To Be Positive With The Aftermarket

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While the headlines in the business section of your favorite news source are rarely uplifting and your service business is fluctuating from hot to cold on a daily and weekly basis, there is still an abundance of positive data to give you reason to be optimistic about the automotive aftermarket industry and your service and repair business.

1. The automotive aftermarket is a $224 billion industry — that is huge.

2. The aftermarket is growing at a 4.1% rate.

3. The value of the parts installed in the DIFM segment is a staggering $85 billion.

4. The 3 trillion miles driven each year fuels the aftermarket.

5. There are 240 million vehicles in operation, creating a steady demand for ­service work.

6. The average age of vehicles is currently 10.6 years and will continue to grow.

7. There are 180 million “older” vehicles (6 years and older) on the road.

8. Repair invoices are 55% higher on average for older vehicles.

9. The number of OEM dealerships has dropped by more than 3,000 since 2008, creating more opportunities for aftermarket shops.

10. OE dealerships have less than a 20% share of the DIFM business for older vehicles (and these have the highest average repair order).

Bonus reason:
11. The average posted labor rate for aftermarket shops is $18.50 lower than the labor rate at OEM dealerships.

There are many other industries that would love to have the “fundamental drivers” that benefit the automotive aftermarket. Have you spoken with anyone in the real estate, banking or construction industry lately? They are having some tough times that will hopefully take a turn for the better since they are also your customers.

Tough economic times cause a business manager to make a thorough examination of the business, which is a good thing. Take the time to do that now but, in the end, hang in there for the 11 reasons listed above.

Top Tech: Going Beyong Expectations

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Kim Brant, an automotive technician at Joe’s Tire and Auto Service, St. Joseph, MO, has been named the 2012 Best Tech, sponsored by WIX Filters.

WIX Filters, a member of the Affinia Group family of brands, in conjunction with Brake & Front End, ImportCar and Underhood Service magazines, named Brant the second-annual WIX Filters Best Tech during the annual Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA) Meeting and Conference in Las Vegas on Oct. 29.

As part of his award, he and a guest traveled to the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) for an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas.

“From the diagnosis of electrical problems to evaluating exhaust systems to recommending the best parts — technicians play a major role in enhancing a vehicle’s performance,” said Mike Harvey, brand manager for WIX Filters.

“We are thrilled to recognize Kim Brant for the second-annual Best Tech award for his ­distinguished career built on outstanding ­customer service as a committed ­advisor and resource, and for his dedication to learning as vehicles become more sophisticated with a wider range of repairs and maintenance work.”

Brant, an ASE Certified Master Technician and a WIX Expert-Level Certified tech, said he was thrilled and humbled to receive the honor of being named a Top Tech.

“With complicated systems that make up automobiles today, it is imperative that technicians provide the highest-quality service to ensure that drivers and passengers are safe on roadways,” said Brant.

Kim Brant, right, proudly displays his Tech of the Year trophy with two-time NHRA Funny Car Champion Tony Pedregon during the Babcox Night of Excellence awards dinner during the AAPEX show in Las Vegas.

“I am truly delighted to win this award not only for myself but for everyone at Joe’s Tire & Auto Service. From our technicians, owners to service writers, we hold the shop to the highest standards by encouraging ongoing education, implementing top-level industry standards and providing excellent ­customer service, which drives returning ­customers.”

Brant, who has been in the automotive and repair service industry for 28 years, was a ­runner up in the 2011 Best Tech program last year. He’s worked at Joe’s Tire and Auto (www.stjoeautoservice.com) for about four years, and before that served as a technician in a few local dealerships and tire stores.

Besides his exceptional customer service, Brant has been active in his community’s youth organizations and local technical school.

He also is credited for his penchant to go the extra mile to gain a new customer for Joe’s Tire and Auto Service, an independent repair shop that has been servicing the St. Joseph area since 1984.

Joe’s Tire and Auto Service is an independent repair shop servicing the St. Joseph area since 1984.

“My biggest enjoyment from the auto industry is the challenge of determining the vehicle failure and taking that process clear through to returning the vehicle to the customer, properly repaired,” he said.

Brant, whose own “fleet” of vehicles includes his daily drive, a 1999 Dodge Grand Caravan, also owns a 1988 GMC 1500 4×4 and a 1966 Dodge Dart GT Convertible. His love of vehicles developed at an early age through his father’s business.

“My father owned a Mobil service station from my infancy to my teenage years,” Brant said. “Without his involvement in the automotive world, I’m sure that I would not be involved myself.”

Community Involvement
In addition to his service as an automotive
technician, Brant also was recognized for his community service that includes:
• Raising money for Habitat for Humanity;
• Raising money for the Special Olympics; and
• Participating in Neighborhood Beautification programs and recycling efforts.

Service Call

One of the most unique jobs Brant had seen as a technician had to be the servicing of an A/C system on a local Life Flight helicopter that had been grounded.

Since the law requires the A/C system to be in working order for the helicopter to be used for medical purposes, Brant was asked by his shop owner if he could fix the helicopter’s A/C system since the company that previously serviced the craft was no longer in business.

Although he had never repaired a vehicle that is designed to leave the ground, Brant hit the Internet to research the helicopter’s HVAC system, grabbed his tools and headed out to Rosecrans Memorial Airport, where he was greeted by the Life Flight air staff.

After servicing the A/C system successfully, Brant said he was confident he would be contacted to service the system if it ever needs it in the future.

Brant said he was happy to be of assistance in the Life Flight’s return to the skies, and that today’s shop’s can find business “outside the box.”

“I’ve worked on a lot of unique vehicles — from Ferraris to Lamborghinis to Prowlers — but not many techs in this business can say they have worked on a helicopter.”

And not just any helicopter, but a Life Flight helicopter.

Runners-Up

WIX Filters and Babcox Media also named two 2012 Best Tech finalists:

• Travis Luscomb from Larson’s Service, Inc. in Peabody, MA, and;

• Kevin Dietz from BTS Tire and Service in Providence, RI.

Finding a Dealership Deal

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One thing that many people don’t realize is that you can frequently find different deals on new cars at different dealerships. Unlike shopping at a chain store, where one product is the same price no matter which of the stores you happen to be in, dealerships are actually independently owned franchises, and they can set their own prices on vehicles. So the price that you’re quoted for the same car might vary depending on whether you are visiting an Ontario Ford dealership or visiting Fairview Ford or their website, fairviewford.com.

Each dealership moves inventory at its own pace, so many of them will frequently have sales in order to move new car inventory off the lot. You’ve probably seen local TV commercials or heard radio ads offering no money down or free financing on new cars at specific dealerships. These are common bargains that are offered, but you never know what your dealership has going on without asking. Many dealerships even price down new vehicles that are still sitting on the lot from the previous year; this is sometimes called a clearance event, when they need to clear the lot for newer inventory and will sell brand new, year old cars for a bargain price.

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Another approach to finding a deal on the dealership’s car lot is making an offer. Though haggling with your salesperson might seem like something that’s more appropriate at a flea market, many car experts will tell you that making a lower offer is acceptable even at a large, affiliated car dealership. The more expensive the car, the more wiggle room there is for adjusting the price, and if you go with cash in hand or can write a check for the amount, or at least a good portion of it, you’re more likely to get a bargain.

Imported Motor Oil Specs Thoroughly Explained

Oil is the lifeblood of every engine, so it’s important to ­always use a high-quality motor oil that meets the vehicle manufacturers’ viscosity recommendations and performance specifications when servicing your customers’ vehicles. Just use a name-brand motor oil that meets the recommended SAE viscosity and current American Petroleum Institute (API) quality standards and you should have no problems, right? Maybe, maybe not.

The caveat is that every vehicle manufacturer has its own requirements for what type of oil should be used in their engines, and those requirements can vary by year, make, model and whether an engine is naturally aspirated, turbocharged, ­supercharged or a diesel or a hybrid. In other words, there is no one universal motor oil standard that everybody agrees upon.

In the U.S., motor oil viscosity is rated ­according to SAE standards. The cold- and hot-flow characteristics of multi-viscosity oils such as 5W-20, 5W-30, 10W-30, 0W-40 and so on, are ­determined by specific test sequences. The first number in a multi-viscosity rating refers to the oil’s cold-flow characteristics, while the second number refers to its hot-flow characteristics. Thus, a 5W-20 oil acts like a straight 5W oil for easier cold-weather cranking and lubrication of critical upper valvetrain components, and it maintains its viscosity when hot like a straight 20W oil for good oil film strength and oil pressure.

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Most late-model engines are factory filled with multi-viscosity 5W-20 or 5W-30 motor oil, but some require 5W-40, 0W-20 or 0W-30. It’s important to follow the viscosity recommendations ­because many of these engines have tighter bearing clearances that require a lower-viscosity oil for proper lubrication. Thinner oils also improve fuel economy. In some applications, such as ­the Toyota Prius, using the wrong viscosity oil (too heavy) may set a fault code. On others, an oil that is too heavy may interfere with the normal operation of the variable valve timing system, causing ­additional fault codes to set.

Fortunately, the European and Asian vehicle ­manufacturers also use the same SAE viscosity ­ratings as their domestic counterparts, which makes life easier when it comes to choosing an oil that meets a specified viscosity recommendation. The trouble is, not all motor oils actually meet the ­viscosity ratings that are claimed on the product — and the situation is even worse with bulk oils. ­According to a recent API survey of more than 1,800 oil samples purchased from bulk dispenser tanks in quick lube shops across the U.S., nearly 20% (one out of five!) failed to meet API standards. Either the viscosity was incorrect or the additive package failed to meet the claimed ­performance level.

From time to time, ­another group called the ­Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA) also ­audits the quality of branded and private-label motor oils. The results of those tests are published on its website (www.pqiamerica.com). PQIA also issues ­consumer alerts when it ­discovers products that fail to meet industry ­standards.

NEW ­REGULATIONS

To address this issue, API created its “Motor Oil ­Matters” (MOM) program that reminds consumers of the importance of using quality motor oils in their ­engines. Of course, consumers have no way of knowing what they’re really getting when they have their oil changed, so it’s buyer beware.

To hold service facilities and oil distributors ­accountable for the quality of the oil they’re selling to their customers, the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) adopted standards that require shops to list the brand, ­viscosity and API service category of the oil they sell on their customer invoices.

Starting Jan. 1, 2014, many states are implementing the new NCWM rules and will require service facilities to label bulk containers, print the oil information on all job tickets and retain the ­paperwork for at least one year. Check with the appropriate government agency to find out if these new rules apply in your state.

OIL QUALITY STANDARDS

Oil quality and performance standards depend on the type of base oils used to formulate a given product (Group I, II, II, IV or V), and the different types of additives that are blended into the oil to improve wear resistance, keep the engine clean, control foaming and corrosion, modify friction characteristics and so on. The relative amounts of these additives and how they’re ­combined determine the performance properties of the oil — and that’s where things get ­interesting and confusing.

API rates motor oils differently if they are for gasoline engines or diesel engines. This rating is displayed in a “starburst” symbol on the product. There is also a “donut” that shows the service rating, viscosity and fuel-saving properties of the oil. The current API standard for gasoline engines ­established since 2011 has been “SN,” which ­supersedes the previous “SM” rating (2010), “SL” rating (2004) and “SJ” rating (2001). All previous gasoline ­service ratings are obsolete.

The current API service rating for diesel ­engines is “CJ-4” (introduced in 2010), which ­supersedes the previous “CI-4” (2002) and “CH-4” (1998) ­ratings. CJ-4 oils are primarily for diesel engines burning low sulfur fuels (less than 15 ppm/parts per million), while the previous CI-4 oils are for diesels with EGR systems.

COMPATIBILITY ISSUES
API service ratings are supposed to be backward compatible, and for many applications they are, but there are some exceptions. To help prolong the service life of the catalytic converter and oxygen sensors in late-model OBD II vehicles, the amount of the high-pressure, anti-wear additive ZDDP (zinc dialkyl dithiophosphate) has been reduced. If an ­engine is using oil, ZDDP can foul the catalyst and O2 sensors, so the amount of ZDDP has been gradually reduced over the years to maintain the emission control ­systems.

Back in the 1980s, motor oils typically contained around 1,500 ppm of ZDDP. In the 1990s, that was reduced to 1,200 ppm, then it went down to around 800 ppm in 2005. That level of anti-wear additive is adequate for overhead cam engines and pushrod engines that have roller cams, but it has proved to be inadequate for older engines with flat-tappet cams, causing accelerated cam lobe and lifter wear.

So, for these older engines (especially performance engines with stiffer valve springs), a supplemental ZDDP crankcase additive is highly recommended, or a street performance oil that ­contains higher ­levels of ZDDP or other anti-wear additives.

ASIAN OIL STANDARDS

A group called the International Lubricant Specification Advisory Committee (ILSAC), made up of Asian and U.S. automakers, has developed its own standards for oil quality. Though not exactly the same as the API standards, the current ILSAC “G-5” rating corresponds closely to the API “SN” rating. The G-5 rating requires improved deposit protection for pistons and turbochargers, more stringent sludge control, ­improved fuel economy, ­enhanced emission control system compatibility, seal compatibility and protection for engines using ethanol fuels such as E85. The current G-5 standard has been in effect since 2010, and is backward compatible for the previous G-4 and earlier ratings.

Most branded oil products carry both the API and ILSAC ratings, plus any other vehicle manufacturer specifications that they claim to meet.

EUROPEAN OIL ­STANDARDS

This is where things get really confusing. Germans like to be precise — very precise — when it comes to specifying motor oils. Audi, BMW, ­Mercedes-Benz and VW all follow a different set of oil standards called the ACEA European Oil Sequences. Like the API and ILSAC rating systems, the ACEA rating system is based on specific laboratory test procedures. In the U.S., we use various SAE standards and American ­Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) test procedures. In ­Europe, they use tests developed by the European Engine ­Lubricants ­Quality Management System (EELQMS).

The latest ACEA standards were updated in 2012 and include three basic sets of ratings for gasoline and light-duty diesel engines, light-duty diesel with exhaust after treatment and heavy-duty diesels. Within each of these sets are subcategories that cover different engine performance requirements:

• A1/B1, A3/B3, A3/B4 & A5/B5 for various gasoline and light-duty diesel applications.
• C1, C2, C3 & C4 for catalyst-equipped ­gasoline and diesel ­engines.
• E4, E6, E7 & E9 for heavy-duty diesels.

Each subcategory has very ­specific requirements for viscosity, shear stability, evaporation rates, sulfur and phosphor content, wear resistance, high- and low-temperature performance, sludge resistance and oxidation resistance, ­according to the ­application.

Using the ACEA criteria, the European automakers then ­establish their own standards for which oils meet the requirements for their specific engine applications (much like Ford, GM and Chrysler do in the U.S. using SAE, ASTM and their own proprietary test procedures).
For example, Audi has a number of oil specifications including 501.01, 502.00, 505.00, 505.01, 504.00 and 507.00. Volkswagen has similar specifications: VW 502.00, 505.00 and 505.01. Each number represents a specific oil requirement (much like GM’s “dexos” oil requirement for some of its newer engines).

Bottom line: if an oil does not meet the specific requirement for one of their engine applications, it’s deemed unacceptable by the automaker for use in that engine.

Audi TSB 17-12-29, dated June 26, 2012, lists all of the oils that meet its various specifications. It’s a long list, but some of the ­familiar domestic oils listed that meet the Audi/VW 502.00 specification include Castrol Syntec Euro ­Formula 0W-30, Mobil 1 0W-40, Pennzoil Platinum Euro Formula 5W-40 & 5W-30, Pennzoil Synthetic Euro formula 5W-40, Valvoline Synpower MST 5W-30 and Valvoline Synpower HST 5W-40.

The same TSB also lists ­approved oils that meet the Audi 505.01 specification, and also its 504.00 specification. Each list is different with some overlap, but you can’t assume that if an oil meets one spec that it will necessarily meet other specs.

Therefore, to keep a newer ­vehicle powertrain warranty in effect when servicing a customer’s ­vehicle, you should ­always use an “approved” oil that meets the car maker’s specifications — especially on European vehicles.

You should be able to find out which oils are ­approved for various makes/models/applications by searching the OEM service literature or an aftermarket repair database. Audi and VW have TSBs that cover this ­subject, but we couldn’t locate similar information from BMW or Mercedes (they may have it, but we couldn’t find it). BMW says it ­require its own BMW Long Life 4 motor oil (such as 5W-30, P/N 07 51 0 017 866), but it doesn’t say what other brands meet its specs.
Once a vehicle is out of warranty, any type of oil can be used, provided it meets the vehicle manufacturer’s viscosity recommendations and basic performance requirements. Use the wrong oil such as a bargain-priced conventional oil in an engine that ­requires a high-quality, long-life ­synthetic, and the results could be engine ­damage or failure!

In Europe, long oil drain intervals are the norm. Some European ­automakers recommend changing the oil every two years or 25,000 miles. To make the oil last that long, the base oil must be a high-quality synthetic with lots of sludge-fighting and ­engine-cleaning additives. In the North American market, energy conservation is given priority over ­extended oil life, so motor oils here are usually formulated differently and require changing much more often (every 5,000 to 7,500 miles, or longer ­depending on the type of oil used and ­driving habits).

The longer the oil drain interval, the higher the quality of motor oil that should be used, otherwise viscosity breakdown and sludging can become a major problem. Toyota found that out the hard way when it began recommending 7,500-mile and even 10,000-mile oil change intervals a number of years ago. Engine sludging became a problem because the PCV systems on some Toyota engines did not flow enough air to keep moisture out of the crankcase. Moisture accumulation leads to sludge formation and engine damage.

If a customer has his/her oil changed every 3,000, 5,000 or even 7,500 miles, chances are they won’t have any problems using a conventional motor oil, assuming their engine isn’t one that has a ­marginal PCV system. But, if they’re going beyond 7,500 miles between oil changes, or are relying on an oil service reminder light to signal when an oil change is needed, they could end up having serious problems if they’re not using a high-quality, synthetic oil that has been ­formulated for extended oil change intervals — which is what most European ­automakers specify.

Another factor that comes into play with many late-model Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) ­engines is the role oil plays in forming intake valve deposits. Deposit buildup has become a problem on some of these engines because the ­intake valves run dry. The fuel injector sprays fuel directly into the combustion chamber or cylinder, rather than the intake port, so there is no fuel wash to clean and cool the intake valves.

Consequently, if oil is getting past the valve guide seals, it can form heavy carbon deposits on the intake valves that hurt performance and emissions.

A motor oil with a low-volatility rating (its “NOACK” number, which is based on the ASTM D5800 lab test) is better because it reduces oil consumption and helps keep the PCV system and intake valves clean (especially in GDI engines). Most recent European specifications call for a low NOACK ­rating (less than 15%).

The Best Things About The New BMW X5

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Vancouver – The third-generation X5 sees BMW once again setting the benchmark for effective layout, interior spaciousness andversatility and luxury, traveling satisfaction, performance and progressive products features. The brand new BMW X5 delivers customers an certain all-round package prepared to fulfill one of the most exacting and assorted calls for.

The BMW X5 – the founding father of the Athletics Activity Motor vehicle segment and around the world finest-selling auto within its school, exceeding 1.3 thousand products sold since the launch from the first age group – is coming into a fresh section in the effective background.

Customers enthusiastic to make the setup in the exterior and interior a bit more person may differ the car’s standard equipment with the M Sport package and Pure Experience and Pure Superiority “design worlds”. The defining features of the on-table connection with the newest BMW X5 are a special interior appearance with luxurious design, great-good quality components and innovative ease and comfort-boosting features.

Common BMW xDrive smart all-tire drive (except around the BMW X5 sDrive25d) may be accompanied by Dynamic Performance Control as part of the optional Dynamic and Professional adaptive revocation bundles. The Active adaptive revocation deal comes with Vibrant Generate energetic roll stabilisation for any specific enhancement from the car’s sporty dealing with attributes. Addititionally there is the option of the Comfort productive suspensions package, which provides more enhanced trip comfort because of air flow suspensions at the back axle and Dynamic Damper Control. Adaptive M suspension, available included in the M Sport deal, also includes Active Damper Handle and rear-axle air flow revocation along with specifically sports activities-oriented revocation adjusting. The Professional adaptive revocation package deal, in the mean time, blends the functions of Convenience and Active. This option enables motorists to choose visibly improved comfort and ease or characteristic BMW showing off capability, as preferred.

Picking engines available from launch consists of a V8 motor creating 330 kW/450 hewlett packard to the BMW X5 xDrive50i as well as the 190 kW/258 hp half a dozen-cylinder in-series diesel earmarked to the BMW X5 xDrive30d. They are joined up with by an M Efficiency Vehicle within the form of the BMW X5 M50d. All models fulfil the EU6 exhaust stipulations as normal. BMW EfficientDynamics modern technology permits all variations from the Sports Activity Vehicle to blend raised functionality with lessened energy ingestion and Carbon dioxide pollutants.

The raises in productivity across the forerunner design are already accomplished through actions which include smart light in weight design techniques and sleek optimisations, which supply the new BMW X5 xDrive30d, by way of example, a category-major pull coefficient (Cd) of .31.

All the different BMW ConnectedDrive characteristics is currently also greater than actually, and involves progressive motorist guidance techniques, some of which are exclusive amongst the BMW X5’s competition. The Sports activities Action Automobile also impresses with its excellent practicality, headlined by its normal 40 : 20 : 40 split/foldable back end seat backrest, weight ability rising from 650 to a maximum 1,870 litres plus an optionally available third row of two more seating.

The brand new Traveling Asst . safety package includes Lane Departure Alert, which warnings car owners for an imminent unintended lane departure, as well as a pedestrian and collision forewarning process with braking functionality, which picks up previous vehicles and, at speeds up to 60 km/h (37 miles per hour), also pedestrians who are with a possible accident training course with all the motor vehicle. If a hazard is detected and at the same time the brake system is primed in order to reduce stopping distance, audible and Visual warnings are given. At accelerates to 60 km/h (37 miles per hour), moderate “hazard” braking is actuated to lower automobile rate and alert the motorist to your critical circumstance.

The brand new BMW X5 is going to be created at BMW’s Spartanburg herb in the USA. This production herb in To the south Carolina is definitely the proficiency centre for BMW By designs plus generates the BMW X6 and BMW X3 – to be joined by the potential BMW X4 – for supply to marketplaces all over the world. The current market start in the new BMW X5 in Germany is planned for December 2013.

Images: BMW

(Sept. 3, 2013)

What’s In The Garage

Never mind “garages are not just for cars” – check out these stats:
82% of households in the United States have a twin car garage (many even larger) yet only 15% of them are used to park the car

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It’s not just here in the United States either . . .
53% of UK households have a garage (or access to one) yet less than half of them have a car inside.

Do these figures mean that only a small proportion of the shiny cars for sale at Nissan Ontario will be going to a good home where they’ll have a nice, warm garage to sleep in? I guess it does.

So what’s going on? The clue is in the name – a “garage” is specifically designed as an area in which to park a car, that’s why they are incorporated into so many homes, to keep the cars safe and sound and off the streets. Architects, builders and experts with degrees all came up with the same idea – incorporating a garage into a property will make it more appealing, valuable and popular with people – even if they choose not to use them for their intended purpose.

So if garages aren’t used for cars, it begs the question – what’s in the garage?

It’s pretty amazing really when you think about the number of people who choose to park their cars out in the rain and the snow, getting out on the driveway or roadside and running to the shelter of the house rather than parking inside where it’s warm, dry and sheltered. How convenient would that be – to get out of a car into a warm, light, dry garage! Surely that makes good sense.

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I strongly suspect that the majority of householders move into their properties with the express intention of parking the car into the fabulous spacious garage but then . . . . life happens.
Many people will probably move into their new home complete with one or two car garage intending to use the space for just such a purpose before uttering those fatal words – “we’ll use the storage space until we’ve moved in properly then use the garage to park the car inside after we’ve cleared away all of the boxes”.
In my experience most people have far more “stuff” than they think they’ve got and rather than clearing this stuff and putting it into the house or dumping / selling what they don’t want any more they simply add to it and the garage becomes increasingly cluttered. The fact is that if you have any unopened boxes lurking in the garage which you haven’t even looked in for the past couple of years you could probably live without it, it’s just taking up valuable space where your car would be. Garages are simply one step further towards the trash – the stuff you know you ought to throw but can’t quite make yourself do it just yet.

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The majority of garages have plenty of space for a car plus the lawnmower, bicycles, barbecue and the odd tool box – maybe even a few bits of garden furniture throughout the winter.
If you don’t believe me just take a look inside your own garage – or peep into the open doors as you drive around your neighborhood. You’ll be surprised at how much stuff is kept in the space which really should be reserved to park the car.
They’ve got some really splendid motors at metronissanredlands.com all of which deserve a good home with an uncluttered garage where they can be kept safe, dry and warm.

Four New Concept For Jeep At Beijing Auto Show

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Jeep is making a splash at this year’s Beijing auto show with four new concepts that draw from modern Chinese urban culture, design, and fashion. Jeep continues to grow into an ever more popular import brand for the Chinese market, and these four concepts—based on the Jeep Renegade, Cherokee, and Wrangler models—will test the consumer market for future China-focused design strategy.

Jeep Zi You Xia Concept

The Jeep Zi You Xia, or “rebel”, concept uses the four-cylinder Jeep Renegade as its jumping-off point. Jeep looked to bring a much more refined and style-conscious flair to the Zi You Xia concept, which starts with the compact crossover’s rich, dark-colored exterior design scheme. Warm Chocolate Grey paint contrasts with Dark Anodized Bronze accents on the grill outlines, fog lamp bezels, rear lower fascia, taillamp bezels, and badges. These elements match the concept’s 20-inch Anodized Bronze wheels, as well.

On the Jeep Zi You Xia concept’s interior, the same dark-color scheme continues. Anodized Copper metallic trim on the air vents, speakers, shift console, cupholders, and climate control knobs stand out prominently against the Piano Black interior and grey A-pillars. Completing the sporty-premium atmosphere are plaid fabric seat inserts supposedly meant to evoke Chinese menswear and tailored suit patterns.

Jeep Cherokee Sageland Concept

Following the launch of the Jeep Cherokee in China earlier this year, the Sageland concept brings a sense of Chinese history and nature to the midsize SUV. Jeep says it looked at the landscape of the mystical Shangri-La for the Sageland’s design, which features bright Ivory tri-coat Pearl white paint with earth-tone trim. Grill surrounds, front fascia applique, roof racks, badging, door mirror caps, rear lower fascia, and exhausts tips are all treated with bronze metallic finish. Notable interior features include Nappa leather seats with water blue accents meant to evoke traditional Chinese knot design, as well as door inserts mimicking the ornamental Chinese door knobs.

Jeep Cherokee Urbane Concept

As its name suggests, the Cherokee Urbane looks to megacities like Beijing and Shanghai for its design influence. Maximum Steel metallic paint teams up with Hyper Black accents for a clean and modern look. The Cherokee Urbane’s door applique trim is decorated with Chinese calligraphy brushstrokes in mind, matching the Piano Black interior. Nappa leather dark red seating surfaces match the outlines of the Urbane’s floor mats, which are styled after Chinese window traditions.

Jeep Wrangler Sundancer Concept

In this Sundancer concept, touches of high quality and luxurious refinement populate the trail-tested Wrangler. Chocolate Brown metallic paint melds smoothly with champagne-colored Billet aluminum 20-inch wheels, fender badges, and hood scoops. Flared fenders are made from multi-piece aluminum, flanked by unique front and rear bumpers with LED lighting.

Berry Baltique Semi-Aniline leather seats add a seriously premium flavor, which is enhanced by premium leather trim with hand-sewn stitching. Gold trim continues the sophisticated theme from the Wrangler’s exterior, adorning the steering wheel, door handles, shift knob, grab handle, and sill plates.

What’s Set For Fisker Karma In 2015

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Fisker Vehicle will try to make great on its target of restarting Karma production in the next year, and supposedly plans to reintroduce the Fisker Karma in 2015. The Orange Region Register records that Fisker, adhering to its bankruptcy and succeeding investment by Oriental elements firm Wanxiang, will be to adhere to the Karma having a station wagon version referred to as Surf in 2016 (in the past displayed at the 2011 Frankfurt car present). An increased-quantity, mid-dimensions Atlantic (unveiled on the 2012 The Big Apple car present) could arrive in 2017.

The Fisker Karma luxury plug-in hybrid was plagued by reliability issues and mismanagement, which will have to change if the company has any hope of repositioning itself in the automotive marketplace. You can still find plenty of question spots hovering around about Fisker’s upcoming, which include precisely what the company will even be named.

“We never know if we would always keep Fisker Auto as being the firm (name),” Fisker director Roger Light brown advised the Orange State Sign up. “The vehicles will be the rock and roll superstars.”

The original Fisker Karma was built in Finland, even though the company was based in California, but it remains unclear where the new Fisker will build the forthcomingKarma and Surf, and Atlantic. Faces obstacles as far as starting production at the former General Motors factory the company owns in Delaware, although previous reports suggested that Fisker intends to restart manufacturing at its Finnish plant. The Delaware manufacturing facility was originally slotted to create the middle of the-size crossbreed Atlantic sedan. Additionally there is a probable production partner a place in Michigan, and also China.

Brown, who now deals with a crew of around 25 staff members and hopes to identify a long-lasting Chief executive officer throughout the up coming 3 months, is positive that Fisker is going to take the essential actions to replenish the company. “Wanxiang is not really showy,” he explained towards the Orange County Create an account. “They acquired the corporation, they paid for funds because of it, they don’t put any debts on their own firm and they also carry out. They did not find the firm to export the technologies to The far east.”

Henrik Fisker, the company’s namesake fashionable, reconciled a month prior to 75 % of Fisker’s U.S. staff members were laid off in April of 2013. Battling product sales resulted in Fisker couldn’t reimburse its personal loans from your United states Division of Energy, as well as the company subsequently came into a bankruptcy proceeding very last October. Wanxiang purchased Fisker’s belongings for $149.2 thousand during the early Feb 2014.